How to Implement New Construction Technology
Many commercial subcontractors reach the point when the need to implement new construction technology to make them more efficient. The current way of doing business (i.e. using paper time sheets or excel spreadsheets) may have adequately served the needs for many years, but unfortunately, it does not provide the adequate infrastructure to scale and grow.
When a subcontractor company is in its growth phase, the management team recognizes the value of new construction technology to scale. However, the team is so busy working on projects that there is little-to-none time available to explore and successfully implement new technology.
The resistance to investing time in new construction technology is compounded by the seasonality of different industries of the subcontractor. Depending on the region and type of specialty contractor, the work is very seasonal. For example, construction and concrete contractors in the Northern regions are more susceptible to inclement weather and busiest from late spring to fall with summer serving as the peak time.
What is at risk by delaying implementation of new construction technology?
The misconception that training takes away from actually doing the work is the biggest hurdle to implementing new construction technology during a busy time. But, this busy time is when construction project management software is needed more than ever.
Scheduling mishaps – Managing the time and resource constraints to deliver projects on time and within budget can become a big puzzle for a subcontractor. Without project management software to manage the puzzle, there becomes a strong probability that labor and equipment are double-booked or sitting idle because preceding tasks were not completed for work to begin. Poor scheduling can result in financial losses and project delays.
Undocumented changes – When there is a frantic energy to complete jobs to move onto the next project quickly, it is too easy for important items to slip through the cracks. Forgetting to complete a change order is a reality, and those undocumented changes are the biggest source of disputes in construction. Without project management software that connects the field operations with the team at the office to manage the paperwork, this greatly increases the risk of the subcontractor not getting paid for the work completed; or, even worse, the subcontractor may lose money and need to do significant rework for work done out of original scope.
Employee frustration – Although the team may be too busy to implement new technology, the main source of their “busy-ness” is the result of inefficient workflows. If your company is using paper or spreadsheets for timecards, daily reports, RFIs, Change Orders, or Submittals, they are likely spending hours capturing, searching, and tracking information and then transporting it from the field to the office. Without project management software, employee frustration festers on many wasted hours and lost productivity spent on tasks that could be completed more quickly and easily.
Minimizing the Pain to Maximize the Gain
Coaches drill “No Pain, No Gain” to push hard and even painful work in their athletes to take their performance to the next level. However, construction software implementations do not need to be painful to gain the benefits. At eSUB, we understand that implementing technology may seem like a time-consuming and monumental task for your busy team. It doesn’t have to be.
Quick Start Program – Beginning with one project makes implementing eSUB easy for your company and accelerates seeing the value from your technology investment. The Quick Start program allows eSUB experts to guide your project team through the configuration and training on one project to pose less disruption to the business. “New user training took approximately 2-hours, so we were up to speed and running our first project within a couple of days,” says Mr. Brandon Paslay, owner/CEO of New Way Electric.
Unlimited Training – Tony Gibson, Co-Founder/Owner of NEXGEN says, “The Training and Support team at eSUB is helping us continually learn more about the platform and optimize it for long-term use.” When new employees come onboard, eSUB offers unlimited training to ensure that all users are utilizing eSUB to its full potential. Online training, video tutorials, and live chat are available to ensure eSUB is improving your efficiency and increasing profits on every job.
Ease-of-Use – The key to successful technology adoption is simple: Use It! New technology can be intimidating, but eSUB is incredibly easy to use. According to Marty Siebe, Chief Operating Officer at Ground Breakers, “Field Foreman adoption has been excellent since they began using tablets to run eSUB in their daily project delivery activities. Our staffers have very diverse backgrounds, and some are not tech savvy, but there have been no complaints about the intuitive user interface, and robust capabilities the eSUB platform provides.”
This is a time of heightened growth in the construction industry, and many subcontractors are busier than ever. Mobile technology enables new productivity tools to assist field workers while cloud-based application services have eliminated the silos enabling the field and office to work more efficiently together.
There may not ever be a perfect time to implement new technology, but every day that implementation is delayed is another day of wasted time, lost productivity, and increased risk. An easy-to-use system that provides a solid implementation plan and expert guidance will accelerate the time-to-value and empower your team to experience workflow improvements quickly. With a stronger technology infrastructure to support higher labor productivity and efficiency, a subcontractor will be able to take on more projects and scale effectively for increased profits.
FAQs: How to Implement New Construction Technology
1. Why should commercial subcontractors consider implementing new construction technology?
- Implementing new construction technology can make subcontractors more efficient and help them scale their business. Traditional methods like paper time sheets or Excel spreadsheets may no longer support growth effectively.
2. What challenges do subcontractors face when trying to adopt new technology?
- Subcontractors often resist implementing new technology due to their busy schedules and the seasonality of their industry. Finding time for training and implementation can be a challenge.
3. What risks are associated with delaying the implementation of new construction technology?
- Delaying technology implementation can lead to scheduling mishaps, undocumented changes, and employee frustration. These issues can result in financial losses, project delays, and disputes.
4. How can project management software help subcontractors with scheduling?
- Project management software can help subcontractors manage time and resource constraints, ensuring projects are delivered on time and within budget. It prevents issues like double-booking and idle equipment.
5. How does project management software help prevent undocumented changes in construction projects?
- Project management software connects field operations with the office, making it easier to manage paperwork and change orders. This reduces the risk of undocumented changes and disputes.
6. How does the use of project management software reduce employee frustration?
- Project management software streamlines tasks such as timecards, daily reports, RFIs, Change Orders, and Submittals. This reduces the time spent on manual processes, improving productivity and reducing employee frustration.
7. What is the Quick Start Program mentioned in the article?
- The Quick Start Program is offered by eSUB and is designed to make the implementation of their technology easier for busy teams. It involves configuring and training on one project to minimize disruption to the business.
8. Does eSUB provide training for new employees who join a company already using their software?
- Yes, eSUB offers unlimited training to ensure that all users, including new employees, can utilize their software to its full potential. Various training methods, including online training, video tutorials, and live chat, are available.
9. What makes eSUB’s technology user-friendly for subcontractors?
- eSUB’s technology is praised for its ease of use and intuitive user interface. Field workers, even those who are not tech-savvy, have found it easy to adopt, according to Marty Siebe, COO at Ground Breakers.
10. Why is it important for subcontractors to implement technology even during busy times?
- Implementing technology, even during busy times, is crucial because every day of delay leads to wasted time, lost productivity, and increased risk. A strong technology infrastructure can improve efficiency and profitability, enabling subcontractors to handle more projects effectively.
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